UPDATE: Rocks, boulders hampering Sibanye search, rescue operations

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File image of a coal mine.

  • Editor&39;s note: This is a developing story and is updated as and when more information becomes available. 

JOHANNESBURG – Huge rocks and boulders are hampering search and rescue operations at Sibanye-Stillwater&39;s mine in Driefontein near Carletonville on Gauteng’s West Rand where three workers remained trapped underground on Friday night and two unaccounted for following an earlier tremor.

Two more quakes were felt in the area on Friday afternoon, leading to the search and rescue operations being halted, but only temporarily.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least four mineworkers have been killed at the mine Sibanye-Stillwater spokesperson James Wellsted confirmed, saying the deaths were linked to a seismic event at the mine on Thursday.

Wellsted said a quake measuring 2,2 on the Richter scale was recorded at its Masakhane mine.

A total of 13 people were initially trapped.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which previously accused the company of negligence, said it was angry at the latest incident.

The event is the latest in a series of mishaps in recent months at Sibanye-Stillwater&39;s mines that have left workers killed, injured or trapped.

READ: NUM concerned after 79 miners trapped at Sibanye Stillwater mine

"The NUM is angry and concerned at the rate at which mining incidents are happening at Sibanye-Stillwater," the union said on Friday.

In late March, NUM said data showed that nearly a third of fatalities in the mining industry since January had occurred at Sibanye-Stillwater mines.

READ: Another miner killed at Sibanye Stillwater: NUM

It called for "more serious intervention" to take place at the companies in South Africa.

Trade union NEHAWU has called for the total shutdown of all Sibanye Stillwater operations up until they can guarantee the safety of workers. 

 

 

 

 

*Additional reporting ANA